We all become conditioned to whatever environment we're in. John, I believe you rather weirdly have conditioned yourself to listening in a confined/heavily padded space. Floyd O'Toole, recognized as a modern acoustics guru, believes most of us in the western world are conditioned to typical residential spaces, so his domestic listening space is a fairly typical shared living room.
I strongly believe that most audiophiles have invested far too much in equipment for the given rooms they use. At least you've investigated the space itself.
Yes, but it is not so much that I have conditioned myself to the reduced room sound, but that I sought it out.
I have heard and employed virtually EVERY incarnation of listening spaces over the last 45 years of serious, high performance listening.
Between setting up hundreds of systems, setting up live v/VMPS rooms, setting up recording studios, and having the liberty to experiment freely in my own environment, I have possibly a unique set of experiences and understandings to the psychoacoustical environments.
While I agree, that MOST "do" condition themselves to a room "tuned" to a pleasant sound (as they generally have no choice), I was able to pursue a more pure sonic environment, so I didn't have as much ROOM Distortions (any sound added by the room) and was able to more clearly hear the actual recorded environment much more clearly.
It was a search for the Absolute Sound, by subtracting/reducing the distortions from the space and hearing basically the DIRECT sound from the speakers.
Now, that is not to say that basically ANY set up can't be VERY enjoyable and rewarding (I posted above about how pleasing the LE/DE sonic was, and how much I enjoy it), but mine was just one of many acoustical goals to pursue.
I love High End Audio and the various pursuits to enjoy it.